Tofu and vegetable summer rolls


These Vietnamese summer rolls are light and silky on the outside and a tasty tangle of textures on the inside. 

They’re the perfect option for a fun, healthy dinner party starter, an impressive party snack or a light summertime supper.

Crunchy tofu pieces cooked in a creamy, peanut sauce sit atop sleek pan-fried vegetable ribbons and fine, cooked egg noodles. All wrapped up in silky softened rice paper.

Vietnam is a country I’ve wanted to visit for years. Of course for its colourful history, amazing landscape and sandy beaches, but  mostly for its cuisine.

London’s Vietnamese restaurants

The Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road in Dalston, east London, are my go-to for a fail safe, delicious meal. From Vermicelli noodles and claypot curries to stir-fries and pho, there’s a wealth of amazing dishes to try, made with fresh herbs and vegetables, seafood and satisfying carbs.

These summer rolls are a little fiddly to make, but only in their assembly. If you’re a dab hand at rolling a burrito, then you’ll get on just fine with these delightful little wraps.

They’re really versatile, so you could easily swap out the vegetables I used for whatever you’ve got in the fridge. Though I would recommend using veggies that you can slice into long, thin strips. Also, if you have some fresh herbs, like mint or coriander, pop them in for a lovely flavour addition.

Traditionally they’re served cold, with raw vegetables and cold fish or meat, but I wanted to cook my filling to crisp up the tofu and soften the vegetables. I served them lukewarm with the indulgent satay dipping sauce, and some sriracha chilli and plum sauces for a bit of variety.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 small courgette
  • 8 rice paper wrappers
  • 200g firm tofu, drained
  • 1 fine egg noodle nest
  • 1 green pepper

For the satay sauce:

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 drops rice wine
  • 2 tbsp cold water

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 2 as supper or 4 as a starter

Method

  1. Pop the noodles in a large bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave to soften.
  2. Place all of the sauce ingredients into a measuring jug and whizz up with a hand blender. The consistency should be fairly runny. If it’s a little thick, add a drop more cold water and mix in.
  3. Put a large frying pan on a medium to high heat and pour in the oil.
  4. Slice the tofu into slim rectangular pieces and add to the frying pan. Cook until browned up, stirring every few minutes. Half way through cooking, add a tablespoon of the satay sauce to coat the tofu pieces. Stir.
  5. While the tofu is cooking, slice the onion, courgette and pepper into very fine slices.
  6. After about 10 minutes the tofu should have crisped up. When it’s ready, set it to one side on a small plate.
  7. Add the vegetable ribbons to the pan and cook until softened, stirring often. This should take roughly five minutes. When they’ve softened, take them off the heat.
  8. Drain the noodles and put them back in the bowl.
  9. Pour some near-boiling water into a large shallow bowl or deep plate. Take one sheet of rice paper and dip it in the water until it softens all over.
  10. Carefully place the paper onto a chopping board. Time to assemble the rolls. Place a small amount of noodles on the bottom third of the paper, then layer some vegetables on top, followed by three pieces of tofu. Tuck in the ends and then flip the long edge over the filling, rolling it over until all of the paper is used up. Place the roll on a chopping board or plate to serve. Repeat this process until all of your rolls are ready.
  11. Transfer the satay sauce to a small sauce dish along with any other sauces you may like to dip your rolls in.
  12. Serve your rolls with a salad garnish on the side if you fancy it. Enjoy!

This recipe was inspired by Minimalist Baker.

 

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